PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) – Peoria’s next chapter in law enforcement officially begins. Friday afternoon, Eric Echevarria was sworn in as the city’s new police chief.
Echevarria comes to Peoria with more than 20 years of law enforcement experience, serving the Elgin Police Department.
While in Elgin, Echevarria was a commander, resident officer, and also worked with major investigations, drug unit, gang unit, among other roles.
While speaking to a room filled with family, city officials, and law enforcement officers, Echevarria said collaboration with the community is one of the first steps to addressing issues within Peoria.
He said as chief, he wants to go out into communities, meet with residents, and build trust and relationships between the public and law enforcement.
“Peoria is primed and ready to work together and move forward. So just again, just getting out in the community, being out there and letting them see us beyond the uniform,” Echevarria said.
Peoria Mayor Rita Ali said Echevarria’s emphasis on community is what made him stand out above other candidates.
“He’s very serious and committed to the community, and I think he’s going to bring new ideas and new strategies for reducing crime in Peoria and keeping Peoria safer,” Ali said.
On Friday, the new chief also spoke on gun violence in the city, especially crimes being committed by youth.
“We have to be in communication with the school district, we have to find avenues for these kids to have outlets rather than just being on the block hanging around. Finding things for them to do, being engaged with them,” Echevarria said.
Echevarria’s first day is Monday, Aug. 2.